Gabriel [Gabe] One of our "Lancaster 11" Puppy Mill Rescues
Date: Thursday, August 6, 2009, 5:55 PM
Ok, so Gabe is really enjoying his summer here and he continues to blossom and show me what he can do.
It took me an entire year to find one particular goodie that he will take from my hand and eat consistently. He will actually lie next to me and chew it until it is all the way gone. They are dental chews, which normally I wouldn’t buy for my dogs, but someone gave me some as a sample, so I said…what the heck. Just a cornstarch type treat…not horrible, but not very healthy either. Well, Gabe loved them from the very first one and he has continued to love them. So guess what is on my grocery list now every week?? I’ve cut them into smaller pieces so I can give more than one at a time and he will take one and eat it and come back for more. BUT he will only eat them in the bedroom at night while he cuddles on the bed. Silly dog, true?
Well, this week, his trainer (me) has wisened up and now I keep the bag of cut up treats near my bed. When I get up in the morning, I can now give him a treat and he will take it and eat it…but only this one kind. And he will still only eat them in the bed. So I’m working on getting him to eat them at different times and hopefully in further and further increments from the bed. Luckily, they don’t leave crumbs in the bed! But this week he is still eating the treats and is now eating them in the morning in bed, not just at night.
I have also found a second treat which he will also eat…again, junk food (see a pattern?) but hey, it’s a start. It’s made by pedigree and is also a cornstarch based treat. Do you suppose the mill owner made a soup out of cornstarch to feed the dogs?? In any case, he seems to love them! Oh well, we all have our weaknesses…mine are oreos!
And tonight while I was playing outside with the dogs, he came out and was playing and chasing the other dogs on his own, without being called out of his favorite corner!! That’s huge for Gabe. He will play to his heart’s delight when I’m inside and he is outside, but if I come outside, he will go lay in his corner because he knows I will be throwing toys and such for the other dogs. Instead, I was practicing agility (which Gabe really seems to like) with my other dog and I turned to look and Gabe and the others were all racing around having a grand time.
I thought I’d press my luck a bit (trainers always have to see how far they can get), so I called Gabe and instead of helping him into the tunnel to get him started, I just pointed and told him tunnel. Darn if he didn’t run right into and through the tunnel and then on to his victory lap. Then he ran back through it the other way when I asked and I wasn’t even next to that entrance. He was just as proud as punch!!
I hope all the Lancaster 11 are enjoying their summers, and I hope the newer group is continuing to do well!
Pup Date July 2009
More adventures of Gabe. I had a friend over this morning, watching some of my agility training sessions with Owen and Grace. After we were finished, I introduced Gabe's buddy Zippy to the teeter. Gabe came running over to see what was going on and stayed and watched the lesson. When I was finished, I noticed that Gabe was hanging around near me, even with a stranger sitting in his yard taking pictures (Gabe does NOT like cameras!). So I thought he wanted a turn to be cheered for. He loves it when I cheer for him. I sent him through the tunnel and I cheered. He took his victory lap around the yard and came back to me. So we did the tunnel again, and more cheering and running the victory lap. But he came back again and went over to the teeter. So I helped him up on it and he rode it down to the ground with my help and then hopped off at the bottom. He wasn't sure he wanted to do it again, but enjoyed me cheering and telling him how brave he was:-) Maybe a star is being born! He did not panic or even try to get off once until I told him ok at the bottom. Yay Gabe!
June 23, 2009
As some of you know, Gabe has started doing the agility tunnel in my back yard. I have to help him up to the entrance of the tunnel with his collar, but then he goes through and is very proud of himself once he's through and I cheer for him. He runs a "victory lap" around the yard while I clap and cheer for him. Then he normally goes about his business. This afternoon, I helped him through a rather difficult tunnel the first time.it was an S shape. I cheered and he ran his lap around the yard. Then he came back on his own and did the tunnel again and took a second victory lap around while I cheered. Then, to top it all off, he came back and did the tunnel a third time on his own for a third victory lap complete with cheering! What a hoot he is!!
Gabe LOVES to jump and is a very effortless and HIGH jumper, right Donna?? So i f I can actually get him to do agility jumps on his own, we might actually get some where! He does low jumps now on leash, but won't as of yet, attempt them just for fun on his own. Too bad agility has to be done off leash, huh?
Just wanted to brag a bit:-)
PupDate September 29, 2008
Gabe had a good day at the picnic [Sunday, September 28th]. By the end he was walking with his head held high, checking out the sights. It occurred to me that it was the one-year anniversary of the mill dogs getting rescued! How cool for them to have a reunion and pictures taken on such a monumental day !!
We had several firsts for Gabe that I had to share. When it was time for us to leave home for the picnic, he was a bit hesitant. He wanted to see all his old friends, but he was worried as to where he was going to end up next. Once I let him know that he would of course be coming back home with me, he relaxed. He jumped right into the van on his own and settled quickly into his crate for the ride. I’ve always had to lift him in and out. So it was really cool to see him eager to go for a rideJ He also jumped right in to come home.
I have never in my life seen a dog as happy as Gabe was to get home to HIS house! He jumped out of the van and trotted up the front steps, standing at the door wagging his tail for me to let him in. Once out in the yard with the dogs, he was a riot, leaping and spinning, barking, rolling and running.
When he came back in, he was pretty funny. He strutted…that’s the only word to describe it (head held high, air of confidence)…through the house making several trips around to see HIS crate, HIS dog bed, HIS dog buddies, HIS Nathan! (my son), HIS mom, HIS water bowl, HIS kitchen…it truly was funny, but he was so happy to be home.
He actually chewed on the dog bones TWICE that night! Never has he done that before, although I’ve tried to tempt him. And he woke me up the next morning with my very FIRST Gabey-kiss !!!
So it was a very good day for Gabe. He was so happy to see Lexi and was glad to see all his girls doing well in their own homes. I think that he was able to relax a bit more seeing them again and knowing they were all doing well. Coming home with me one more time just seemed to cement it into his mind that he belongs and has a place where he’s safe to let his hair down.
New pictures ~ September 4, 2008
On the dog bed with his buddy, Zippy, the longhaired whippet. He is Zippy's shadow. He waits outside the back door for Zippy to come out and then Gabe gets so happy to see him, jumping around, play bowing, etc. It's too cute.
At the workshop we went to, when Gabe walked with me up and down in between two rows of strange people and dogs.
Pup-Date August 29, 2008
Gabe allowed me to pick him up and put him into the bathtub for a bath ! We have been working on and making progress with him allowing himself to be picked up without flailing around and using his mouth inappropriately. If you remember, the tub had also previously terrified him after he jumped into it once thinking it was a way out and he slid around in it for several minutes before we could save him. His last bath had been in our walk-in shower with me on the floor, blocking the open shower stall door so he wouldn’t escape while lathering him up! Well, this time he sat perfectly still in the tub while I bathed him. I think maybe for a second, he even started to enjoy it. But I didn’t dawdle. Having done this many times before, you never know when the perfectness is going to end and all heck breaks loose!
Later, he let me cut his toenails. He sat and let me hold each front paw while I clipped all the nails and trimmed the hair on his feet. He was being so good that I pushed my luck. He needed combed out after his bath so his coat would not dry sticking up all over the place, so I combed him all over. He even stood stock still while I combed his skirt and his tail…he stayed even better than my home-grown sheltie! Gabe knows the release word all done and a pat mean he is free to go. I released him to go, but instead he turned towards me and put his head in my lap for more combing! A first for Gabe. He tolerates grooming very well, but has never shown me that he actually likes it! Of course, he got more combing. When I released him to go the second time, he came over next to me and turned his body so he was sitting directly next to me on the floor, facing the same direction I was facing. I was a bit surprised, but took advantage of the situation.
I put my arm around him and there we sat, together, watching TV, and Gabe getting a nice pet. If I wasn’t tied down, I might have floated away. I am so proud of Mr. Gabe! He is sure growing by leaps and bounds. Every day there are little surprises. Hard to imagine this is the same dog who came to me only 11 weeks ago! So there we sat, my Gabe and I, for quite awhile. You never would have known that he didn’t grow up with me. It was the longest he had chosen to sit by me at one time.
Gabe in his new foster mom's back yard .... love that grass :)
Pup-Date August 17, 2008
Gabe attended a healing touch for animals workshop with me this past weekend. It was really his first time away from home except for one brief walk the weekend previously. I took his crate so he could just sit and watch. He actually came out and participated in an exercise where I had to walk him up and down in front of a line up of people and dogs that he didnʼt know. He walked right with me with a loose leash. He was nervous, but he stayed with me and checked in with me every couple steps to make sure it was still ok.
He also agreed to be one of the demo dogs for a new technique we were learning. He allowed me to pick him up and place him on a grooming table. Huge for Gabe! No flailing around, no using his teeth! Good boy! He laid on the grooming table for about a half hour with me holding him while a stranger gave him a healing session. Later, he came out again while another stranger and myself worked on him with yet another technique.
I had not taken Gabe with the intention to have anyone work with him, just to let him watch and experience something new. But he rose to the challenge and of course, everyone fell in love with him. His fan club has grown and now I am to provide all of the course attendees with regular Gabe updates as well
Now that Pearlie is in her forever home, Deb is fostering Gabe......
Pup-Date June 20, 2008
Gabe’s been with me for a whole week now! What have we been up to, you ask?
Well, it’s imperative that Gabe learn about being on a leash because he is in a new place and can jump really high, so even in my fenced yard, he has to be on a leash at this point. He really is NOT a big fan of leashes!! We’ve had our fair share of freak outs, but every day they are getting fewer. He has learned that he can pee and poop on a leash with me next to him. Now when I take him out, he goes pretty quickly. Then he’s in a hurry to get back inside. He will walk with me in the yard, but when I let him drag the leash or walk anywhere near the door, he makes a beeline to the door and waits til I let him inside.
He loves it when I cuddle with him and kiss his long nose…something Pearlie did not appreciate! He doesn’t seem to mind being brushed, ‘cause it’s like a cuddle time too. He has so little coat right now that a brushing is done with only a few swipes of the brush. I can’t wait to see his coat grow in! How gorgeous he’ll be! We’ve started TTouch sessions. He’s not sure about the new sensations so we only work for short sessions each time.
I’ve learned that he doesn’t like storms! We’ve had several this week. He can tell a long time before they actually arrive! He gets very anxious and paces.
I finally got him to eat some goodies yesterday, but only after I put them down next to him and went to the next room. He politely sniffs anything I hand him, but won’t eat it if I’m there. At the beginning of the week, even if I left, he would just leave the goodies sitting there until my dogs came along and ate them. So, he’s making progress!
He’s learned about TVs and low windows to look out of, and window fans. He’s found his favorite places to lay where he can keep an eye on things. But he will only stay out in the house with us if I close his crate. Otherwise, he will lay in the crate for hours until I go get him out.
Oh, and he didn’t eat his Frosty Paws! He politely sniffed it and then let it melt in his bowl! My dogs couldn’t believe it!
Gabe ~ The Early Days ~ While with Donna & Greg
June 2008 Gabriel has made the next big step in his life ~ he's now being fostered by Deb and she will continue training & socializing him for transition to a forever home.
May 2008 Gabriel will be going to Deb's mid-June [when Pearlie is in her forever home]. This is a great next step for him. I think he will change even more there.
It puts a SMILE on my face when I see Gabe playing with my dogs. He has really gotten into the mix of things. My dogs seem to enjoy playing with him. He is good with all ages and sizes. I would love to know exactly how tall he is. I say he is at least 20in. Thin as a rail. I think once he is with Deb he will put some weight on. He is still keeps a check on Lexi. Gabriel is coming up to me more often and sniffing me, mostly when Lexi is with me or sometimes when my dogs are with me. When I have people over he does not come up to them but he now walks around the house instead of trotting when they are here. He does seem to acknowledge them with a turn of the head sometimes if they say his name etc. Can tell he wants to say hello, but still can't do it.
Notes from Melissa ... May 19th Gabriel may have made the most advances since my first visit. The biggest improvement is that he allowed me to sit with Lexie and Smiles without jumping on them to protect them! In fact, most of the time he would leave me alone in the pen with Lexie and Smiles. He would come in every now and then to sniff me to make sure it was still the same person so he would be assured his girls were safe. Later on, I put Gabe’s clothes on to try to walk a little in the house, but he was NOT happy with me for that. We let him walk around the house with them on for a little while, and then he very happily stood still to allow me to remove them.
I am so glad Greg saw this and called me over to look out the kitchen window. Gabriel was playing with Rocket. This is a "first". They were running back and forth ~ Gabe even grabbed the hair on Rocket's flank and waited for him to jump off the table. Then later I noticed Gabe running with the group of boys ...his tail out ~ he looked so much like a normal happy dog.
From left to right ......Lexi, Gabriel, GloryB, Sadie & Angel 10/27/07
****************************************************************************************** Earliest notes from foster mom Donna on October 16th
Gabe is making slow steady progress. Came home Sunday and he moved about his xpen and sat with head up. I went into pen and he continued sitting with his head up. This was big.
Lexi is happy in pen, but will only come out when you are not near and if you are, she sits behind the xpen looking out. Has no problem with you petting her and rubbing her belly in pen. She seems to be happy to see you there.
Glory B loves her belly rub. Held her while having breakfast this morn. She is the most steady.
Sadie is back and forth. She is the boss top female of the group. She thinks it is great to prance around her very large xpen, wag her tail high and bark at us any time we go up the stairs. Getting used to being petted, but still not sure. Greg held her at breakfast and she did relax.
Angel [now Pearl] scats a lot when you go in pen, but will take any food from you. She is starting to relax more with petting. Not at the picking up stage.
None of them will come up to you when out of pen, but they seem to be investigating more. They all seem to be happy to see me when I come down the stairs or in the door.